Code & Zoning Review: Best Practices for Successful Projects

Code & Zoning Review: Best Practices for Successful Projects

By Tynesha Goode

The many nuances in design and construction often bring challenges regarding which municipal agency approvals are required for construction projects. From the early planning stages, conducting a thorough review of applicable zoning regulations and construction codes can save developers and buildings owners significant time and money.

Zoning Review

Planning new construction or a major alteration often requires additional insight into zoning. On drawings, areas affected by zoning include building elevations and section drawings, which depict proposed zoning bulk, yards, and street plantings with detailed drawings. Also affected are site plans and projections describing vertical dimensions.

Such reviews typically require the following information:

  • Block and Lot Number
  • Zoning lot dimensions
  • Building height and number of stories
  • Zoning District designation and adjacent Zoning District within 50 feet
  • Other site designations (special purpose districts, waterfront area or block, etc.)

Construction Code Review

Once the zoning review confirms that the proposed project complies with current zoning regulations—or approvals for exceptions have been granted—site plans must demonstrate compliance with applicable construction codes. Registered design professionals must submit a complete set of plans that meets the following minimum requirements:

  • Compliance with DOB Graphic Standards
  • Title Block, discipline designators, and revision numbers, as per DOB requirements
  • Scale of each drawing or detail
  • North Arrow on plans
  • Dimensions – related to scope and area of work
  • Drawing Title
  • Notes and details – only pertaining to the scope of work
  • Clear description of the proposed scope of work, include construction and/or demolition work
  • Floor-level plans for areas of work – including roof plans identifying bulkheads and parapets
  • Standard legend to distinguish proposed work from existing plans
  • Partial Demolition Plan – clearly demarcate load-bearing partitions planned for removal, relocation, or repair
  • Exterior, interior, and partition wall layouts
  • Door/Window sizes, locations, and schedules, unless shown elsewhere
  • Legend indicating existing and proposed work

In addition, all drawings submitted to support the architectural plans must be in accordance with New York City code, signed and sealed by a design professional.

Energy Code Compliance

Construction projects must also comply with the New York City Energy Conservation Code (NYCECC). In supporting the city and region’s larger energy and economic goals, the energy code establishes energy-efficiency standards for new construction and alterations to existing buildings.

To demonstrate compliance with the NYCECC, all New Building and Alteration applications require the following:

  • Professional Statement from Architect/Engineer
  • Energy Progress Inspection requirements (TR-8)
  • Energy Analysis in EN drawings, with clear references to supporting documentation found elsewhere in the application

Supporting documentation should be included in the drawings listed above, as applicable, or it may be included in the EN set.

For assistance with code and zoning review, or help with plan examination reviews, please contact Metropolis Group at 212.233.6344.